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How to Prepare for Medical Students


Anaesthesia is a speciality that medical Students receive minimal exposure to. There are variations of clinical placements during medical school training so it is often overlooked as a speciality that should be considered.

Medical Students who consider entering anaesthesia as a career can ‘prepare’ in advance of application after foundation Years by doing the following:

  1. Discuss with College Tutors in Anaesthesia that are present at every Local Education provider (aka Trusts). They will not mind being contacted and should be able to give advice on Anaesthesia as a career, help you make up your mind, and provide details of opportunities available in your Trust.
  2. Consider taken on Student Selected Component as part of their 4th or 5th year depending on medical school, within the areas of anaesthesia. Each medical school will be able to advise on where these are been offered.
  3. Elective Period within the speciality will demonstrate dedication, and will score at interview.
  4. On placement, or before you arrive, approach the Anaesthesia department Clinical Governance Lead to request involvement in ongoing Anaesthesia related Audit or Quality Assurance projects. They will likely be delighted to have keen assistance.
  5. These Audit and Quality projects can usually be presented to departmental meetings and may progress to poster presentations that can be done at local, regional or national conferences. These do not need to be large expansive research projects, but can be done in the course of a placment if early communication is made with the department.
  6. On application for Foundation programme, choose a rotation that includes anaesthesia and/or critical care. This is not essential, but will be desirable, as well as to demonstrate interest in speciality and will also help you decide if it is the correct speciality for you.
  7. The attainment of an intercalated Degree will increase score at interview, however this only occurs where the degree is NOT compulsory to completion of the medical degree. There are only a few Universities in the UK, where this is the case.
  8. Higher degrees such as Masters and PhDs, will increase score at interview.
  9. Look closely at the self-assessment scoring system available on ANRO for ACCS or Core Anaesthesia application, to determine how portfolios are scored. This will maximise your competative placement. This cannot be emphasised enough! If you look at the self scoring early you will have plenty of time to direct your portfolio appropriately. SEE THE USEFUL LINKS